HiRez Poll Evans, Gil - SVENGALI [Blu-Ray Audio]


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Rate the BDA of Gil Evans - SVENGALI

  • 6

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  • 4

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  • 1: Terrible Content, Surround Mix, and Fidelity

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  • Total voters


Hi-Res Moderator
Staff member
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Oct 31, 2008
Middle TN
Please post your thoughts and comments on this reissue of the classic Gil Evans album Svengali.
This Blu-Ray audio disc is part of Rhino's Quadio series and the disc features the first release of the original Quadraphonic mix for the first time since the 1970s!

(y):) (n)

30% SURROUND MIX - 30%
30% CONTENT - 20%

Total Vote: 9. Although Gil Evans is credited for successfully adding electronic instruments to Jazz, and critics put Svengali as one of his best recordings, this new jazz fan did not connect. This is my first exposure, and repeated listenings may change my mind about the content. If so, I will change my vote. On the other hand, experienced Jazz afficionados may want to may want to pick up this 192/24 resolution 4.0 BluRay while the price is right!
SVENGALI is an anagram for GIL EVANS. This LIVE album recorded in New York City's Trinity Church and Philharmonic Hall [Zee Zee] is a fantastic amalgam of acoustic and electronic instruments with compositions by Evans, himself, Miles Davis, Billy Harper and George Gershwin [Summertime].

Sumptupously recorded in super discrete sonics, I highly recommend SVENGALI to lovers of free form jazz by the 'Svengali' who conducted and arranged Miles Davis' classic album Sketches of Spain!

A 10!
This by far the best Rhino Quad release to date. Out of the 3 batches released so far, this is my biggest surprise. I wasn't aware of the album until it was announced from this set of releases.

The album is so bombastic. It's as if you were driving down the street listening to this on your stereo while being punched in the face. The album is truly a work of art that begs to be heard on such a format. The separation of the instruments truly lets this album shine.

Blues In Orbit is my favorite track on this album. It's so complex and artistic. Kudos to Rhino for bringing this to us. It's a tasty treat which will be consumed repeatedly on my surround system.

In other words, keep 'em coming Rhino!

11 out of 10, you'll get the reference if you have seen the movie "This Is Spinal Tap".
As someone who loves this era of jazz when it was trying to tap into the rock scene by incorporating more electronic instruments, this album is totally up my alley. But it is the quad mix that immediately pushes it up to a “10” for me. Totally immersive, discrete, and bonkers in all the right ways, this is what quad is all about.

Of course, as a point of reference, the Mingus Quadio was my favorite of the last batch so YMMV depending on your tolerance for more “out there” jazz.
I just can't get into any jazz that hasn't a rhythm I can follow tapping my foot to.
Sounds like 5 different musicians playing 5 different songs at the same time to me..
No offense meant to the folks that love this type of jazz.
Best I can give it is a 7 based on a decent mix and SQ since I'll probably never listen to it again.
The eminent composer/arranger/bandleader (and multiple Grammy winner, and 2019 NEA Jazz Master) Maria Schneider was a student and protégé of Gil Evans. As No Depression put it in 2015: "nobody is more qualified to assess" the best work of Evans's long and illustrious career. Indeed, back in 2009, jazz writer Ted Panken asked Schneider to pick out a dozen representative Gil Evans tracks and offer her critical perspective on them for the now-defunct jazz.com. (He's since reprinted the piece on his blog.) One of the cuts she chose came from the Grammy-nominated Svengali. As it happens, she'd previously written liner notes for a 1998 reissue of that album.

10.) TRACK: Zee Zee (Gil Evans)

ARTIST: Gil Evans

Album: Svengali (Koch Jazz KOC-CD-8518)

Musicians: Gil Evans (p,el-p,arr,cond); Marvin “Hannibal” Peterson (trumpet, solo); Richard Williams (trumpet); Joseph Daley (tuba); Sharon Freeman, Pete Levin (French horn); Billy Harper (tenor saxophone); Howard Johnson (tu,bar,flhrn); Trevor Koehler (bar,sop,fl); David Sanborn (as); David Horowitz (synt) Ted Dunbar (el-g) Herb Bushler (el-b) Bruce Ditmas (d) Sue Evans (perc) Composed by Gil Evans

Recorded: Jazz Festival, Philharmonic Hall, New York, June 30, 1973

RATING: 100/100

It’s hard for me to decide which song to take from Svengali. This album shook my world in about 1982, when I heard it for the first time. The whole thing has such a mystery to it. It was while listening to “Zee Zee” that I saw myself one day working with Gil. At the time, seeing that in my mind didn’t register as any true reality that would come to be, but, bizarrely and by sheer coincidence, it became reality. The piece is largely about atmosphere. The musical idea is simple. All the chords are moving chromatically in parallel motion and the bass simply passes from a minor I to a minor IV chord. There are chimes moving in the same pattern. To me, it recalls the wind, but the wind in a dark, brewing storm, the kind that blows through the window, shakes the shutter and turns the air green. Perhaps you have to come from tornado country to relate to that, but that’s where it takes me, and it’s interesting that the last sound is the sound of wind. I just love the essence of this. And I love that it’s all played out of time. Everyone just breathes and sighs the figure in tandem as Hannibal Marvin Peterson slowly builds in intensity and finally just wails over it. This piece is a total distillation of Gil to the most extreme: the type of harmony, the quirky intervals, the colors, the linearity, attention to the soloist, and, above all, the attention to evoking something that, once again, goes beyond music. How can something that is so spare compositionally and with so much free improvisation still be so completely and utterly Gil?
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I can't fault the audio nor the discreteness of the material - it's grade-a engineering. I downgraded it only because this type of experimental jazz is not rewarding for me. I will very likely list it on Discogs.

Guys, it's LIVE for Christ's sake. And the sound quality is that of a studio recording. I dug it. First time hearing the album too.
I have to second this. For those who are skeptical of the separation and audio quality, given that this is a live performance, rest assured; this album's engineering is comparable to a studio recording. I honestly completely forgot this was a live recording until the end of the final track, which is the only time where you hear audience applause.
Someone above described this music as 'free from'. I guess it depends on the direction you're coming from. As one who owns (and really enjoys) İlhan Mimaroğlu's Wings of the Delirious Demon and Coltrane’s Interstellar Space, this music feels quite grounded and rather foot-tappin' experimental jazz to me!

I originally came by Gil Evans via Miles Davis (like everybody, I guess) and have a number of his albums tucked away somewhere. I bought this one because I knew I liked him and here was one of his in quad ... of course I had to get it. But wow, I'd not expected it to be equal musically with my other Gil Evans albums. At times pumping, at times melodic and soulful, always inventive, experimental and fun. And in quad no less. Bliss.

And now that I've joined the Atmos crew (as of a fortnight, everybody) I've started listening to it with Auro 3D engaged. It preserves quad, but kicks it upstairs too.
Oh my goodness.
I bought the CD-4 disc of this album due to a good review in Audio mag, my CD-4 setup is marginal, I mostly listen to the quad to stereo downmix (I had never heard the stereo mix until this Quadio).

I like this Quadio, but the music isn't really my thing so I'm giving a 7 on the quad mix and no opinion on the music.

Kirk Bayne